Book Review: Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #9)

Payne, twin sister of the Black Dagger Brother Vishous, suffers a devastating injury, and brilliant human surgeon Manuel Manello is called in to save her. Their attraction is instant, and as powerful as it is dangerous. But as human and vampire worlds collide, a centuries- old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in jeopardy.

Book 1: Dark Lover review

Book 2: Lover Eternal review        Book 3: Lover Awakened review

Book 4: Lover Revealed review     Book 5: Lover Unbound review

Book 6: Lover Enshrined review   Book 7: Lover Avenged review

Book 8: Lover Mine review

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“And I say to you now, I killed my father, not yours.” Lifting her palm, she peeled back and slapped him across the face. “And do not insult my blood.”

Heh. Payne is badass. :))

Lover Unleashed featured more of Vishous than Payne. Why is that? I mean, I did not like Lover Unbound‘s ending, so I don’t want anything to do with V and Doc Jane anymore. *huffs* (Although it was here that I only realized that they were not formally mated in their book installment.)

Fine. Good thing I have patience to sustain me so I can continue reading this series.

Manello, I like. He’s funny, can stand toe-to-toe with V or Butch, and he’s undeterred by a strong female like Payne. She, on the other hand, has no inkling on worldly desires, and it’s kind of funny (for me) that she can trash Wrath, beat him to bits during their sparring sessions, and then not know what kissing was. 😀 But she’s cool. Her loyalty to her twin is scary, despite being separated for more than a hundred years.

The back story of the Bloodletter is the intriguing part. Imagine Payne who is not afraid to kill him, and now she is being hunted by the Band of Bastards that stayed loyal to him.

I was anticipating the showdown between Payne and Xcor… then nothing happens. WTH.

Lover Unleashed is all about Payne being introduced to the world other than what she was used to with the Virgin’s Scribe spiritual abode. It’s about her romance with the human surgeon, V’s drama, and a lot of non-action.

But… I feel for Qhuinn. 😦

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LOVER UNLEASHED by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 537 pages

Published November 1st 2011 by Signet

3/5 stars

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Book Review: The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

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Young Adult > Fantasy

(Seven Realms #4)

A thousand years ago, two young lovers were betrayed-Alger Waterlow to his death, and Hanalea, Queen of the Fells, to a life without love. 

Now, once again, the Queendom of the Fells seems likely to shatter apart. For young queen Raisa ana’Marianna, maintaining peace even within her own castle walls is nearly impossible; tension between wizards and Clan has reached a fevered pitch. With surrounding kingdoms seeking to prey on the Fells’ inner turmoil, Raisa’s best hope is to unite her people against a common enemy. But that enemy might be the person with whom she’s falling in love.

Through a complicated web of lies and unholy alliances, former streetlord Han Alister has become a member of the Wizard Council of the Fells. Navigating the cut-throat world of blue blood politics has never been more dangerous, and Han seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizards alike. His only ally is the queen, and despite the perils involved, Han finds it impossible to ignore his feelings for Raisa. Before long, Han finds himself in possession of a secret believed to be lost to history, a discovery powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can use it? 

A simple, devastating truth concealed by a thousand-year-old lie at last comes to light in this stunning conclusion to the Seven Realms series.

Book 1: The Demon King review

Book 2: The Exiled Queen review

Book 3: The Gray Wolf Throne review

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After closing my copy, I hugged it tight. I had stars in my eyes, the biggest smile in my mouth. My husband stared at me, asking, “What is wrong with you?” and I just murmured (without looking at him) that the ending of The Crimson Crown was sooo beautiful…! Of course, he doesn’t know what I’m saying. I kept on smiling. What a fantastic way to conclude one of the best fantasy series in YA!

I would not have it any other way. 🙂 There are little questions in my head, but I didn’t mind them much. I am delighted with how everything fell into place, whether for better or for worse. I am utterly delighted!

The strength of the Seven Realms series lies in the tremendous amount of development that Cinda Williams Chima put into her characters. Han and Raisa were spectacular, but unbridled praise must also be given to Fire DancerNight Bird, even Micah Bayar! There is no good or bad, just the resolve to prove something or someone that they are worthy – of respect, service, and love. Woot!

The maturity of Raisa as a queen, and as Han’s partner was incredible. She’s out to get what she wants. She thereby complimented Han‘s determination to be the best person he can be. After The Gray Wolf Throne, Han now lives with conviction. He’s no longer a thief, he said. He’s resolute to make things work between him and Raisa, stands up to the challenge, just for the slimmest chance that they can be together. *happy sigh* Han was magnificent! He still have trust issues, and I loved that this is consistent with his character. He struggled with his secrets, and sharing them to people he cared the most.

Dancer‘s transformation was amazing! He was the epitome of the hope between jinxflingers and copperheads. And Night Bird was a pretty surprise. I did not like her in previous books, but now? Wow. Lord Bayar‘s fate was unsatisfying, but neatly done. Averill Lightfoot and Elena Cennestre are two of my least favorite characters. Such sneaky and insensitive Demonai warriors!

More than the superb plot, these character developments drove The Crimson Crown to the top of my favorites list. Han, Han, Han. I don’t think I will ever forget you. Swoon!!!

And that Epilogue? Oh my goodness! So uplifting, and sweet, and undoubtedly kind. =)

Similar to Lumatere Chronicles of Melina Marchetta and The Queen’s Thief series of Megan Whalen Turner in terms of epic love stories and intriguing politics, Seven Realms series is a must read for every fantasy lover. So Read. It. Now!

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THE CRIMSON CROWN by Cinda Williams Chima

Paperback, 624 pages

Published October 1st 2013 by Disney Hyperion
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5/5 stars